in the kitchen

Why I Cook with Pork

Cooking with porkWhen Ruthie asked me about our use of ground pork in our weekly meal plan, I was going to reply back to her in a comment but then realized I had too much to say on the topic.  Ruthie writes, “I notice you cook with a lot of ground pork. Does your family just prefer it or is it more cost effective?”  Well, the answer has 4 parts to it.  Taste, cost, health, and sweat.  Yes, you read that correctly – sweat is one of my reasons.  We’ll save that for last but let’s start with….

Why I cook with pork

1.  Taste.  My family likes the flavor better than beef.  It’s not that we don’t like beef.  I don’t live with vegetarians here.  My family would like meat (any type!) every single night of the week but it’s not happening.  I did purchase a quarter of a cow for our large freezer several years ago and it made me realize we prefer pork.  We did like knowing where our beef came from – in fact we went out and visited the ranch – but it was more of, “Oh, we’re having beef again” situation when my family would read the meal plan.  If I’m serving ribs, I find pork ribs are more tasty and tender than beef ribs.

2.  Cost.  It’s less expensive to purchase all natural pork from my local Asian market, which carries Carlton Farms, a local company I trust, than it is for me to buy ground beef.  I only purchase my ground beef from reputable stores and the local store where I buy our ground beef costs nearly three times more than the pork.

For my grocery dollars, I go for maximum reputation, best taste, and least cost.  Oh, and easiest clean up.  Pork hits all those requirements.

3.  Health.  Because pork is considered a “white meat” much like chicken, it doesn’t have as strong a flavor and blends in with my cooking.  With ground pork, it’s more versatile in what I cook and can easily be added to lentils or with sauteed cabbage or baby bok choy.  It’s also not as fattening as beef and contains less cholesterol.

Pork is good with baby bok choy

Another thing I notice when cooking with pork is that the clean up is easier than with beef.  When I’m scrubbing the skillet or pan that’s been used to cook pork, there’s less oil or grease and it’s just a faster clean up.  Just calling it like I see it!!

4.  Sweat.  Lastly, I can ride my bike to my little neighborhood Asian market to buy my ground pork and not break a sweat!  For me, that’s a deal breaker.  I’m much more likely to ride my bike if I’m already showered and have on a cute outfit (from Goodwill, of course!) if I don’t have to sweat on the way home.

Ruthie adds, “Do you have a recipe for the Mediterranean tacos?”  Well, not written down but I suppose I should.  Here goes –just make hummus and spread it on pita bread and then add feta cheese, lettuce, onions, and tomatoes.  Think Mexican tacos only substitute Mediterranean flavors and you’ve got it.  Just call it out –say, “We’re having Mediterranean tacos tonight” and then have your bowls of vegetables all chopped or sliced up and pita bread ready for stuffing.

Ruthie added, “I really enjoy your blog, by the way!”  Thanks, Ruthie! I really appreciate you reading Go Gingham and I’m sending big virtual hugs your way!!  It’s nice to know I have more readers than just my mom and husband.

What do you like cook with? Pork or beef? Do you skip meat altogether?

Go Gingham related links:

My food philosophy is here and it’s simple, wholesome stuff
Spicy hummus for use in those Mediterranean tacos
Ruthie’s question came from this meal plan
Slow food gets prepared by slow families
Eat healthier – written for 2011 but still applicable!
Shopping from the bulk bins and storage tips
Frugal grocery shopping tips
Meal planning made simple – you can do it!
Could you give up fast food for a year?

8 thoughts on “Why I Cook with Pork

  1. I love hearing your thoughts, Sara. It is nice to know what sort of ideas and criteria went into the things you decide to do – so I can more easily fit it into my life! Thanks!


  2. I have been substituting ground turkey for ground beef in many of my recipes, mainly because of cost and fat content concerns. If the turkey is sufficiently seasoned the family doesn’t really notice the difference, plus there is no fat to clean out of the skillet.


    1. Jason, I completely understand your position! Thanks for the comment and for your family loyalty. We still want to be invited to the harvest…


    1. Thank you, Ruthie, for asking the question that got me thinking about all of these answers!


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